South Portland, stand up!
Last February, the Portland City Council voted to designate the slender swath of land between the Ross Island and Sellwood bridges as the city's sixth official "quadrant."
It's a solution to a problem that's also the area's most unique characteristic: South Portland is home to 10,000 properties and residential addresses that lead with zero as the first numeral, which has long been a source of confusion for everyone from first responders to couriers to map apps.
Ditching the zeros and replacing existing street signs will be a five-year process that's expected to begin in spring 2020. But you might as well get acquainted now. Here are six awesome things you'll find in Portland's newest district, from a longtime South Portlander:
The Portland Aerial Tram: Travel between Marquam Hill and South Waterfront at 3,300 feet up for awe-inspiring views of the Portland cityscape—especially at sunrise and sunset. Fare is $4.90 round trip or free one way down to the South Waterfront station, which is home to a village of garden gnomes.
Butterfly Park: Once a gravel parking lot and junkyard, this scenic, little-known riverview park was acquired by the city of Portland in the 1980s and beautified over the years. Wildflower seeds from the Columbia River Gorge were planted to attract butterflies, and today, it's a prime bird-watching spot as well.
Buffalo Gap Saloon & Eatery: If you've been to John's Landing and haven't stopped at Buffalo Gap, have you even been to John's Landing? This dimly lit, maze of a bar, opened in 1973, was one of Portland's first beer gardens. Local bands play upstairs in the Attic, and there's a game room as well as killer happy-hour deals.
Finales: This low-key bakery-turned-wholesale operation makes some of the most binge-worthy desserts in Portland, including Dutch apple pie, blackberry tart and cherry galette. Best thing, though? You can buy freshly baked cinnamon rolls straight from the kitchen daily, from 7 am until they sell out.
Oregon Public Broadcasting: From its modest building directly across the river from Oaks Amusement Park, OPB has a history going back to 1923 when KFDJ-AM signed on at Oregon Agricultural College, now known Oregon State University. Since 2009, OPB has also operated KMHD, one of the country's last remaining public jazz stations.
The Sellwood Bridge: In 2016, the city replaced the decrepit 90-year-old river crossing connecting Sellwood and Westmoreland to the westside, expanding the bike and sidewalk lanes to make getting across much easier. Below the bridge is the Staff Jennings dock, which once housed a ferry that carried commuters between Sellwood and John's Landing. If all goes according to the 2012 strategic plan, the area may soon be Portland's newest public beach.